Paul Di Resta a step closer to F1 with Force India UPDATE #2
Paul di Resta, is set to be announced as the new man behind the wheel at Force India this week after weeks of speculation by fans and the media. The 24-year old Scot was test driver for the Silverstone-based squad last year and although his Italian team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi has a contract already in place with Force India, his manager, Peter Collins, told BBC Sport, "Tonio will be in F1 this year."
|Paul di Resta|
"Will he be racing? I don't know. I've no comment to make at this stage. The position has been very clear for some time and it is best to let the team make any announcement."
If the suggestions of di Resta joining the team are true, he is expected to have German Adrian Sutil as his team-mate for the 2011 season. 01/21/11 Scot Paul di Resta is poised to seal a deal to race for Force India and become the third British driver in Formula 1.
BBC Sport understands Force India have decided to promote the 24-year-old from his position as test driver and pair him with German Adrian Sutil.
But the team have not yet concluded negotiations with Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi, who has a contract for 2011.
Liuzzi's manager Peter Collins said: "Tonio will be in F1 this year. Will he be racing? I don't know."
Force India refused to comment on the situation and Di Resta and his manager Anthony Hamilton, father of McLaren driver Lewis, were not available.
Di Resta, who is a Mercedes protégé and won the DTM German Touring Car Championship for the marque in 2010, impressed Force India while driving in Friday morning practice sessions and the team have decided they have to give him a race seat. However, Liuzzi has a firm contract for 2011 and talks to resolve the situation are yet to be concluded.
Collins added: "I've no comment to make at this stage and it would be wrong for me to do so.
"The position has been very clear for some time and it is best to let the team make any announcement." BBC11/29/10 Paul di Resta did his chances of securing a 2011 race seat with Force India no harm at the weekend when he claimed the DTM title in Shanghai.
The 24-year-old Scot, who took part in a number of free practice sessions this season in his role as Force India's reserve driver, sealed the German touring car championship for Mercedes with a second-place finish in China.
Di Resta, who won three DTM races in 2010 as well as claiming an additional three second places, is now awaiting word on his Formula One future.
"Force India has given me a great opportunity this year," he told Autosport.
"It's always been my dream to be involved in a Formula One team and I've been able to do some great things with them this year.
"Obviously I'm hoping I can get a seat there and we can build a long relationship. F1 is my dream and I will keep working to make it happen.
"But Mercedes have been very good to me through my career and I don't want to forget that, so I'm just happy to win the DTM title with them right now."
Di Resta is one of at least four drivers hoping to race for Force India next season, alongside Adrian Sutil, Tonio Liuzzi and Nico Hulkenberg. We have updated our 2011 F1 Silly Season page above.